SALT LAKE CITY – An online interactive app for patients with Type 2 diabetes helps to shift their attitudes to incorporate more exercise into their daily routines, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Researchers who developed the app at University of Utah Health found there is an emotional component to behavior change, said Nancy Allen, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and co-author of the study. The app tracks participant understanding of the effect of physical activity in managing their disease and motivates them to make a behavior change. “Based on prior work, we thought people would underestimate the impact of physical activity, but we were wrong,” said Bryan Gibson, assistant professor in Biomedical Informatics at U of U Health and first author of the study. “The patients overestimated the impact of physical activity on their blood sugar, but after using the simulation their motivation still increased.” In the future, researchers hope to adapt this approach to personalize the app by creating patient-specific blood sugar curves using a glucose monitor and an activity monitor, rather than relying on average blood sugar curves.
SALT LAKE CITY – Researchers at Intermountain Healthcare have developed a clinical decision support app that more quickly identifies when heart failure becomes advanced and a patient’s care needs have changed. “We found that clinical decision support can facilitate the early identification of patients needing advanced heart failure therapy and that its use was associated with significantly more patients visiting specialized heart facilities and longer survival,” said R. Scot Evans, lead author of a study on the app that was published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure recently. Using the app during the study, researchers found that it led to significantly improved detection of disease advancements and more intervention patients were alive after 30, 90 and 180 days compared to a control group. “The sooner advanced heart failure is diagnosed and patients begin to receive advanced, specialized treatment, the better they tend to do,” wrote Evans. When computer monitoring indicates a patient likely has advanced heart failure, the app automatically sends a secure email to the patient’s doctors, and includes the recommended therapy and all the relevant information that triggered the alert. It also provides a link to a secure Intermountain web-based page that provides further information, and lists phone numbers and links so doctors can easily connect the patients with advanced heart failure specialists.
BOSTON & AMSTERDAM –Royal Philips and American Well are partnering to embed American Well’s mobile telehealth services into an array of Philips digital health products.
“Partnering with American Well to deliver highly personalized virtual care solutions to consumers and health care professionals fits Philips’ vision of 24/7, coordinated care across the health continuum,” said Jeroen Tas, chief innovation and strategy officer at Philips, in a statement.
The first phase of the partnership will integrate American Well’s telehealth service into the Philips Avent uGrow parenting app, which is designed to support parents monitoring their baby’s development and connects wirelessly to an ecosystem of devices. Later this year, the uGrow app will include voice activation with Amazon Echo and the Philips Avent smart feeding kit.
Philips will also leverage American Well’s mobile telehealth software development kit to integrate video visits into a diverse set of Philips’ digital health solutions.
American Well’s integrated telehealth visits will be further enhanced through back-end integration with Philips’ population health and clinical systems, based on the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform. Through HealthSuite, consumers and patients can have secure and full control over their personal data, including data from their connected devices, and select which data to share with health professionals.
“With the addition of telehealth, (Philips) can now offer everything from data collection to care provision and clinical intervention,” said Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman and CEO of American Well, in a statement. “Together we are helping providers and payers improve their care model by using a broader and more accurate data set, which will be analyzed more quickly to effectively close the loop with patients.”
Philips will also join the American Well Exchange clinical services marketplace, which enables health care partners to exchange telehealth services with one another and redistribute them to new patient populations.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Humana has introduced a new tool to help its members keep a list of their medications in one place to improve medication management, safety and clinical outcomes. “Managing multiple daily medications is challenging especially when those medications might be prescribed for a member by multiple physicians,” said William Fleming, president of Humana’s Health Care Services, in a statement. “The RxMentor tool will go a long way to help our members improve their health and well-being.” The RxMentor app helps users: Keep an up-to-date list of their prescription medications, vitamins and supplements, other over-the-counter items and personal allergy information in one place; automatically receive medication history; share their medication list via a secure email with caregivers; and take notes in the app about a medication. The app pulls from claims data in addition to medication and allergy information that is self-reported by the member.
NEW YORK – Belong: Beating Cancer Together is adding an American Cancer Society channel to its platform and cancer management mobile app that will add the ACS’ information and resources. The ACS will also add a forum on the Belong platform called, American Cancer Society4U, where Belong users will be able to read relevant information that connects them to resources, as well as contact the American Cancer Society via the app. “Through the relationship between the American Cancer Society and Belong, we hope to provide a new community of patients and their caregivers with relevant cancer-related information at their fingertips,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, in a statement.
WILMINGTON, Del. – With the recent launch of a new asthma app for patients, Nemours Children’s Health System has set in motion a plan to integrate all of its digital offerings into one patient-facing platform over the next year.
“Until now, Nemours’ digital assets existed in their own space,” said Gina Altieri, senior vice president and chief of strategy integration at Nemours Children’s Health System, which serves Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Flordia. “We realized that by integrating them, we could create a seamless, user-friendly experience.”
The health provider’s digital assets include: a Nemours CareConnect telehealth app; a KidsHealth.org website; and an industry-recognized electronic health record.
The Nemours App for Asthma captures data from home monitoring devices like digitally-connected stethoscopes in real-time and shares the information with providers. Patients and their caregivers can use the app to: review video or written instructions for the proper use of home health devices; keep a real-time journal of asthma triggers and symptoms to share with physicians; conduct live telehealth video visits; and review the child’s EHR.
Nemours plans to monitor the care of families using the app to determine how the tool helps patients manage and control their condition compared with traditional care, with an eye toward treating other conditions.
“Right now our focus is on the Nemours App for Asthma, but the vision for diabetes and cardiac-focused apps is similar: use the technology to help families more easily and effectively control their child’s disease,” Altieri said.
Nemours digital health strategy is focused on putting more digital tools into the hands of families who expect it. In addition to the planned chronic condition apps, the provider will also develop a primary care app next year.
“Consumerism is changing everything, including health care,” Altieri said.
SAN DIEGO – Researchers in China have developed a new online consultation tool for people with rheumatic disease that eases the process and reduces costs of treatment, according to new research findings presented at the recent American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.
The researchers from multiple institutions collaborated to develop the Smart System of Disease Management, a series of mobile applications based on clinical data and a system that includes online consultation via a mobile app.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the economic feasibility and medical benefits of using SSDM for online consultation with a rheumatologist.
Dr. Fei Xiao, lead author of a study on the research, said more than 100 million people in China with rheumatic disease seek treatment from only about 5,000 rheumatologists, so they end up traveling long distances and extended wait times. The study showed that RA patients trained to use SSDM were able to perform self-management afterward, including disease activity scoring of 28 joints, health assessment questionnaire evaluations, and medication and lab test data entry. The patients also saved money in consultation fees.
The researchers also found that 66.35% of participating patients were satisfied with SSDM.
“SSDM inspires a paradigm shift in medical care for chronic disease through empowering the patient,” said Xiao in a statement. “Based on the trajectory and real-time data, physicians are able to take proactive interventions and turn passive practice into outcome-driven care.”
Xiao said the model can be replicated into the other disciplines and fields of chronic disease.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Nemours Children’s Health System has launched a mobile app to help clinicians and families of children with asthma monitor their health remotely, adhere to care plans and communicate more effectively between visits. The Nemours App for Asthma, currently being piloted, is part of the health system’s digital health strategy. “This app is a model for Nemours, demonstrating how digital health allows us to meet families wherever they are and fulfill our commitment to the medical home model,” said Gina Altieri, senior vice president and chief of strategy integration at Nemours Children’s Health System, in a statement. “Our goal is to better engage with families, understand what is happening between visits, help families manage chronic conditions and improve outcomes of care.” The asthma app supports the use of physician ordered home-monitoring tools, such as a breath-flow monitor and a digitally connected stethoscope, provides video instructions for inhaler use, allows families to keep a real-time digital journal of symptoms and enables better communication for telehealth visits with asthma specialists. The app is the first of several disease-specific tools designed to help patients and families better manage their chronic conditions by integrating the patient and clinician experience into one platform. The app will be released in early 2018.
TORONTO – A team of researchers from eHealth Innovation at University Health Network are studying how an mHealth app for prostate cancer survivorship care is adopted and accepted by patients, caregivers and clinicians. “This will, to our knowledge, be the first realist case study to evaluate an app for prostate cancer survivorship care,” said Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, research team leader, in a statement. The team will also determine the effect of the app, called Ned (No Evident Disease), on health-related quality of life, satisfaction with cancer care, unmet needs, self-efficacy and prostate cancer-related levels of anxiety. The Ned case study is a 12-month study of 400 patients, 200 caregivers and 10 clinicians. The first participant was recruited this month and completion of the study is expected in May of 2019.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Intel has launched a Health Application Platform that can be used by remote care solution providers to enable a variety of remote health care usage models.
The Intel HAP enables health care solution providers to securely deliver a wide variety of services across an always-connected and ever-expanding health care continuum and to any cloud. To make the platform readily available, Intel has collaborated with technology design provider Flex to create an Internet of Things computing engine that offers an intelligent, connected edge device providing wireless connectivity to verified peripherals like blood pressure and glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, weight scales and more.
“This innovative solution will enable health care solution providers to bring transformative remote care solutions to market,” said Dave Ryan, general manager, health sector, Internet of Things group, at Intel, in a statement.
Once configured by the health care solution provider, solutions based on the IoT compute engine can work right out of the box. After receipt from their care provider, patients and their families simply plug in the equipment to get it up and running. Its interactive and intuitive user interface automatically displays a notice so users know when the battery needs charging, and a bright light on the device confirms that data is being transmitted, allowing for hands-free use by users. The solution ensures data security both at the hardware and software levels.
Health care professionals will be able to retain ownership of the data that can be stored in and accessed through legacy infrastructure with their own compliance processes in place.
“By focusing on better management and use of data, Intel is helping the health care industry improve care cost, quality and access by delivering care that is more personal, distributed and collaborative,” said Ryan.